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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 07:56 PM
Number of posts: 20,226

Journal Archives

Robert Reich: How a Wealthy California Town Makes Sure No Poor Kids Attend Its 'Public' School

A California school district hired a private detective to build a case against a 7-year-old Latina

On the basis of that investigation they determined that Vivian’s legal residence is her grandmother’s home in Bay Point, California. They’ve given the seven-year-old until December 5th to leave the Orinda elementary school.

Never mind that Vivian and her mother live during the workweek at the Orinda home where Vivian’s mother is a nanny, that Vivian has her own bedroom in that home with her clothing and toys and even her own bathroom, that she and her mother stock their own shelves in the refrigerator and kitchen cupboard of that Orinda home, or that Vivian attends church with her mother in Orinda and takes gym and youth theater classes at the Orinda community center.

Orinda doesn’t want to pay for any kids who don’t belong there. Harold Frieman, Orinda’s district attorney, says the district has to be “preserving the resources of the district for all the students.”

.Such schools are “public” in name only. Tuition payments are buried inside high home prices, extra taxes, parental donations, and small armies of parental volunteers.

These parents are intent on policing the boundaries, lest a child whose parents haven’t paid the “tuition” reap the same advantages as their own child. Hell hath no fury like an upscale parent who thinks another kid is getting an unfair advantage by sneaking in under the fence.


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Dec 1, 2014, 12:05 PM (108 replies)

Jon Stewart on Ferguson, Fox, Race and White Privilege

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Nov 26, 2014, 01:50 PM (13 replies)

Video: Loving Owner Makes Full Thanksgiving Spread for His Dogs!

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Nov 26, 2014, 06:31 AM (36 replies)

Rosie King: "How autism freed me to be myself" -- from "TED TALLKS"

“People are so afraid of variety that they try to fit everything into a tiny little box with a specific label,” says 16-year-old Rosie King, who is bold, brash and autistic. She wants to know: Why is everyone so worried about being normal? She sounds a clarion call for every kid, parent, teacher and person to celebrate uniqueness. It’s a soaring testament to the potential of human diversity.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Nov 25, 2014, 11:31 AM (7 replies)

Imagine the shock and horror of finding this note left for you by your 15-year-old

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Nov 24, 2014, 12:33 PM (4 replies)

Warren, Sanders beat Hillary in poll of DFA members

by Alex Seitz-Wald

“If you only listened to Washington pundits, you’d wonder why Democrats are even bothering holding primaries and caucuses.”

- Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America

The members of the progressive group that grew out of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign are not exactly ready for Hillary.

Democracy for America (DFA) has been asking their roughly one million members whom the group should support in a hypothetical 2016 Democratic presidential primary. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the clear favorite, with support from 42% of respondents, according to results shared with msnbc ahead of their release later Thursday.

In second place was Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is seriously considering a presidential bid as a Democrat, with 24%. Just one point behind was former secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 23%.

From there, the numbers drop off significantly, with former Labor Secretary Robert Reich – who told msnbc he is not interested in running – capturing 3% of the vote, and Vice President Joe Biden getting just 2%. Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who announced an exploratory committee Thursday, received less than 1% of the vote.

Warren has repeatedly said she is not running for president and there is no evidence thus far that she’s interested. Sanders is seriously considering a run, and recently hired a top Democratic strategist to help plan a bid.


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Nov 22, 2014, 02:58 AM (392 replies)

The Orwellian redefining of the meaning of the words "centrist" and "moderate" by the right wing

It is hard to argue when some one calls themselves "centrist" or "moderate" because those words imply that someone is in the middle and that their positions on issues are the middle way - the sensible way - not too far left - not too far right.

By any reasonable definition I suppose I am a centrist and a moderate. I don't believe that capitalism is all bad and I don't believe that capitalism is all good. I don't believe that socialism is all good and I don't believe that socialism is all bad. I believe there are some things better left to the private sector - while some things such as education, healthcare as well as fire and police protection are better handled by the public sector. I believe history has clearly shown that a balance between capitalism and socialism - a balance between altruism and individualism is what works best.

I don't believe that global projection of American military power is all a bad thing and I don't believe it is all a good thing. The sure size and scope of America and its interest in the world almost assures that it will be a major player on the world stage - but our own national interest as well as the issue of sustainability of international stability means that we cannot continue on the path of that we are currently on - one of endless military conflicts and quagmires.

President Obama was very honest, candid and forthcoming when he said that in the 1980's he would have been seen as a moderate Republicans. He was also very honest and candid when readily admitted on national television that President Nixon was in many way more liberal than him.

The Orwellian redefining of the meaning of the words "centrist" and "moderate" by the right wing seems to suggest that policies in line with 1980's moderate Republicans or policies closer to Richard Nixon's policies rather than New Deal/Great Society Democratic policies or something to the right of that is what is centrist and what is moderate.

This implies that finding a workable balance between capitalism and socialism - finding a sustainable foreign policy that doesn't have us in permanent military conflicts defending an unsustainable global military empire - establishing real universal healthcare such as is practiced in every other developed country in the world - Making sure our democracy is not something bought and paid for by hedge fund managers, Wall Street investment bankers and corporate lobbyist - Stopping and reversing the never ending redistribution of wealth from ordinary working people to the very few - Having a vision of an America where poverty has been at least as eradicated as it has been in most other advanced democracies - Striving to see in our time an America - socially just at home and at peace with the world - These are now seen as far left pipe dreams - although they were once mainstream opinions held by ordinary Americans - I see nothing extreme at all about this agenda - I say that in the real world it is simply being reasonable, sensible and indeed moderate and centrist.
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Wed Nov 19, 2014, 05:08 AM (91 replies)

If it's impossible to ever elect a progressive President - there is no hope of saving our country

and the future is indeed bleak as truly the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer and the middle class will grow smaller and smaller and more indentured to debt than ever before.

Actually the Republicans elected two Presidents well to the right of Goldwater - Reagan and Bush Jr. The difference is when Goldwater lost in 1964 by a landslide - that campaign and that loss was the basis to build the modern right-wing Republican Party so right-wing that poor old Barry Goldwater was not longer welcomed in the movement he helped create. He was too liberal for the new Republican Party

IN contrast when George McGovern who lost by a comparable landslide in 1972 - The Democrats never nominated a progressive again. Instead of using the incredible accomplishment of nominating a progressive as a basis to build a new movement like the Republicans used the in 1964 loss to build a movement - This loss became the constant excuse for why the Democratic Party must forever keep moving farther and farther to the right - perhaps liberal on many social issue but farther and farther to the right on the economic issues that determine how we actually live. Because only moving farther to the right can they raise the enormous sums of money from special interest lobbyist to fund their campaigns.

There is not a shred of evidence that the American people as a whole are pro-Wall Street, pro-investments banks, pro-insurance company and pro-out sourcing. There is not a shred of evidence that a message of economic justice and equity is unsellable in any region of the country.

But frankly, I think most professional Republican politicians whether elected officials or professional operatives are movement conservatives - people who are ideologically driven. Most Democratic professional politicians whether elected officials or professional operatives are not. They are career goal driven and base their career plans on a balancing act between raising money from lobbyist and satisfying demographic and constituent blocks.

The message that it is impossible to ever elect a progressive on the national level and for progressivism to win on a national level is a message to give up all hope of moving our country forward and seeking a newer world. I for one am not prepared to do that - yet anyway.
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Nov 17, 2014, 02:29 PM (17 replies)

Wall Street and Hillary Clinton: The risk Democrats run by embracing the “big tent” - from salon.com

New report shows that Wall Street is as ready for Hillary as it gets. Here's why that should make Democrats nervous

by Elias Isquith

(Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Yet if we’re to take the Politico piece on Clinton and Wall Street as any guide — and, coming as it does from former banker William D. Cohan, there’s reason we shouldn’t — it looks like that’s the approach the Clinton folks have decided to take. According to Cohan, Wall Street is almost giddy over the prospect of a Clinton candidacy, describing it with the kind of vacuous (and intensely ideological) “non-ideological” phrases that they used when rhapsodizing over Obama back in 2008. “Many of the rich and powerful in the financial industry,” Cohan writes, “consider Clinton a pragmatic problem-solver not prone to populist rhetoric.” Regardless of whatever she may say to win over Democrats, Clinton’s got a pass from these masters of the universe, Cohan reports, because “[n]one of them think she really means her populism.” The Street’s support is “rock-solid” and “not anything that can be dislodged based on a few seemingly off-the-cuff comments.”

As Cohan notes, despite their recently spotty record on wise investments, the Wall Streeters’ confidence in Clinton is pretty well placed. They already know her quite well from her years in the White House — years that were characterized by a wave of financial deregulations that came at quite a price for the rest of us, though they were doubtlessly beneficial to the 1 percent. And they know her better still from her brief stint as New York’s junior senator. Clinton and Wall Street, Cohan reports, are simply comfortable around one another. They go to the same parties (in the Hamptons) and travel in the same circles (among the financial, cultural and entertainment elite). She “understands how things work,” in the words of one Cohan source, who helpfully clarifies that, on the Street at least, “she’s not a populist” is what that means.

And the affinity is not just historical or cultural, either. Cohan finds that one of the reasons Wall Street is so gung-ho about Clinton 2016 is because it believes a second Clinton presidency would lead to progress on the issues that, in its eyes, matter most — namely, “fiscal and tax reform,” which is the elite’s favored euphemisms for cutting Medicare and Social Security as well as lowering taxes on corporations. “She will be trying to govern from the center with a problem-solving bent like her husband,” says Greg Fleming, the president of Morgan Stanley Wealth and Investment Management. Going unmentioned, of course, is the fact that the problems being solved in Wall Street’s imagination by a future President Clinton are currently only a significant concern among those in the 1 percent.

So if two years from now Democrats find themselves on the defensive, watching in horror as someone like John Kasich or Ted Cruz successfully labels Clinton as the candidate of the status quo and the 1 percent, they shouldn’t say no one saw it coming. In an era of populist anger and increasing polarization,
there are downsides to having such a big tent.


Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Nov 13, 2014, 07:56 AM (4 replies)

Texas Tech students try to answer VERY basic questions on American history and politics

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Tue Nov 11, 2014, 06:39 AM (98 replies)
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